GAINESVILLE -- There’s no shortage of storylines for today’s primetime tilt between No. 25 Florida and No. 3 Ole Miss, but Friday’s Will Grier-is-sick-news has overshadowed all the other pregame chatter.
Here’s what we know: Grier, UF's redshirt freshman quarterback eying his fourth-straight start, has an illness that kept him out of practice Thursday. He was at Friday’s team walk-through and there’s hope he plays.
Grier’s father, Chad, told The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley his son wouldn’t miss the game.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Brad Nessler was on The Paul Finebaum Show and opened the whole can of worms, saying, “It’s going to be a major theme to see if Will Grier is even ready to go. He had the flu. … So [coach] Jim McElwain told us he’s not going to name a starting quarterback until they do their Gator clap before they go on the bus and come to the stadium. So we don’t know right now. We think that Treon Harris might be the guy that starts. They’ll probably play both.”
According to Nessler, Florida had as many as 21 players sick this week.
As for those healthy enough to play, here’s several storylines to watch.
* Are the Gators truly a Top 25 team?
* Can UF’s offensive line hold up against Robert Nkemdiche & Co?
* Who will win the ballyhooed Vernon Hargreaves-Laquon Treadwell matchup?
* Will Florida’s defensive line create enough pressure to disrupt Chad Kelly?
The Gators feel primed to shock the country. At least that's what they're saying.
“You can feel it in the air," wideout Valdez Showers said.
"We've been sick of not being ranked and not playing Top 25 opponents and stuff like that, so we're not taking this lightly. When you start winning games and get on a four-game win streak that gives us momentum going into the fifth game and gives us a lot of confidence. You feel like you can definitely take these guys, too.”
WHERE: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
WHEN: 7 p.m.
LINE: Ole Miss -7
1. Who can win the turnover battle?
2. Can the Rebels run the ball to stymie Florida’s pass rush?
3. Will UF play loose, confident and throw the kitchen sink at Ole Miss?
LINKS - UF vs. Ole Miss
THE SKINNY SIX-PACK:
I’m ready to bounce-back after my first crappy week of the season (2-2-1). Still a bodacious 14-5-1 ATS on the year.
Arkansas (+8) at Tennessee
Baylor (-17) vs. Texas Tech
Oregon at Colorado (+8)
Alabama at Georgia (PK)
Lastly, Ole Miss (-7) at Florida. A flu-ridden roster probably curtails Florida’s real chance to spring the upset, but I’m not sure the Gators have enough anyways. If you’re an optimist, Florida does have some favorable matchups (DL, secondary). Still, UF has overachieved a bit and this game is a measuring stick to see exactly where it stands in the conference. Should be a live atmosphere in The Swamp.
Enjoy the cool evening, y’all.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton